DEAR ABBY: This letter is in response to "Wm. T. Elliott" and his suggestion that "small children should have a whistle tied around their necks when they go on picnics and camping."
Abby, please accept this important reminder to parents: ANY cord, string, necklace or tie around a child's neck could KILL if accidentally snagged by a tree, bush, fence, swing, etc. Parents should really protect little ones by PINNING or CLIPPING on that whistle! –- A CONCERNED PARENT AND PHYSICIAN, TORRANCE, CALIF.
DEAR CONCERNED: I apologize for letting that slip by. You are not the only reader who hastened to point it out. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: I agree that supplying a whistle for small children who are camping is a good one. However, since tying anything around the neck of a small child is a strangulation hazard, it would be better to securely attach it to a zipper pull, belt loop or shirt.
When my four children were small, I also laced a small ID tag onto their shoe for family outings -– zoos, hikes, etc. –- in case the child was too frightened or injured to give vital information. Nowadays you can have bracelets made up for that purpose. –- MARY ELLEN HANRAHAN, LYNNWOOD, WASH.
DEAR MARY ELLEN: Thank you for the input. A reader in Clackamas, Ore., also suggests that providing older children with walkie-talkies on camping trips is a good precaution in case they become separated from the family for any reason. That way the child can be heard from more than a mile away.